MORE than 100 drug driving-arrests were made across Hampshire amid the coronavirus lockdown, new figures have revealed.

Hampshire Constabulary say they made 137 drug-driving arrests from when lockdown started on Monday, March 23 until Wednesday, June 3.

This means the number of arrests for the crime shot up by 47 percent this year after 93 motorists were arrested in 2019 during the same period.

However, figures from March 23 to June 3 in 2018 showed 137 drivers were arrested for drug-driving.

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Now Test Valley community leaders have voiced their thoughts on how the number of drug-driving arrests could have increased since 2019.

Transport portfolio holder and deputy leader of Test Valley Borough Council, cllr Nick Adams-King, said: "I think it is interesting because since lockdown the police have probably been able to concentrate their resources on looking for people who are out and about, as there have been less cars on the road.

"It doesn't surprise me those arrests have gone up, but the other question we have to ask is during this lockdown period where were the people going to and from when they had taken drugs?

"During lockdown people should have been travelling for specific purposes, whereas a year ago they could have been going to a party where they could have taken drugs."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Nick Adams-KingCllr Nick Adams-King

He added: "It would also be interesting to know if in 2018 the police cracked down on drug-driving, seeing as they had the same number of arrests that year."

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Opposition cllr Alan Dowden, who represents Valley Park on the borough council, said: "I would imagine it depends on what drugs these people were arrested for, because some people take drugs for depression and mental health issues could have increased significant because of coronavirus, due to the lockdown.

"It is difficult to analyse these things when there are less people travelling, but who knows the amount of drug taking could have been as bad as previous years or worse?"

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Alan DowdenCllr Alan Dowden

Hampshire police has been contacted for comment.